First café is a new commercial project at the old Lisbon Airport. It is located at the centre of the luggage atrium room, serving coffees and toasts to hungry and tired travellers.
Previously the space had nothing to offer. People would wait up to 1 hour for their bags without anything to spend their Euros. There were only metal columns pullulating the room in a cellar type of ambience. It was the typical “in transit” space, with nothing different from other similar airports.
The biggest challenge was to create something that could use columns in its favour. At the same time it should be an open store without closing even more the existing space.
We have designed a concept that uses columns as an advantage, to store materials and shelves and to provide multiple surfaces to be decorated. All the decoration is based on the idea of having a “sense of place”, something related to Portuguese cultural symbols, in a modern reinvention. The great paradox is that: a sense of place in a transit space.
To reinforce the idea of the columns we have design small selling trolleys that go around the airport selling goods and coffees. They are a reduced column in a mimic operation. It should look like all columns could walk as well, leaving the impression that everything is movable.